Abbott's new pharma spin-out chief's college credentials "misstated"

September 28, 2012 by MassDevice staff

Longtime Abbott executive Richard Gonzalez, who will take over the healthcare giant's AbbVie pharmaceutical spin-off, never attained a college degree, contrary to company regulatory filings.

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Contrary to previous company statements, longtime Abbott executive and new pharmaceutical spin-off chief Richard Gonzalez never finished college, the company confirmed today.

An administrative error resulted in regulatory filings stating that Gonzalez had earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and master's degree from the University of Miami. Although Gonzalez attended both institutions, he didn't graduate from either. Abbott has since updated the information on its corporate website to address the error.

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"Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Gonzalez was a research biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine and attended the University of Houston, majoring in biochemistry," the executive roster reads now.

The discrepancy, 1st reported by Crain's Chicago Business, isn't considered grounds for action, Abbott officials told the paper.

"There's really no issue here with respect to his educational background and his ability to lead AbbVie," Abbott communications vice president told Crain's. "His ability to lead AbbVie is evidenced by his distinguished career over 30 years, culminating in his reaching the highest levels of the company."

Gonzalez joined Abbott in 1977 and retired as president & CEO in 2007. He returned in 2009, serving as president of Abbott Ventures and then taking over the global pharmaceutical business in July 2010, according to Abbott's corporate site.

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